Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga this week announced the 31-year-old has been appointed to lead the American Samoa Department of Youth and Women's Affairs.
The nomination is subject to confirmation by the territorial Legislature.
Moliga says Fanene is a bright young man, who has leadership skills and will direct the youth on the right path.
Fanene was drafted by Cincinnati in 2005. He played seven seasons for the Bengals and started 10 games for the team in 2009. He joined new England in 2012 but was injured in training camp and eventually released.